It reminds me of the children’s story Chicken Licken, in which an acorn lands on Chicken Licken’s head, so he sets off to tell the king that the sky is falling in.
The sky is not falling in. The grant of money to Lambeth from central government has been reduced, as it has with every other local authority.
But Labour’s failures to make effective savings for the last 7 years means that they have lost out on a staggering £105m, and now have to blame someone else for their poor decisions.
Next door Conservative-run Wandsworth has had the same cuts and is not closing any libraries, or allowing fly-tipping, whilst charging half the council tax. Our alternative budget approved by independent finance chiefs has found extra savings of £5m to run all services properly, and save our libraries.
One Labour cabinet member has stated that the government was ‘cutting Lambeth’s funding by 56%’. Wrong again. This figure excludes all the many different sources of income coming into the council, even council tax. But Labour’s ruthless spin machine has never let the truth get in the way of a good headline.
The reality is that despite the reduction in money from central government, the economy is getting better for everyone. Since 2010 there has been a huge increase in jobs for Lambeth residents, and a sharp rise in living standards.
And like Chicken Licken, whose naivety meant she ended up getting eaten by Foxy Loxy, the Labour council should stop running off to try to find someone to help, and take responsibility for the chaos it has created.